I want to introduce you all to a friend of mine who will be adding a touch of magic and a hint of crazy to the "Face to Face" event this Friday: the Marvelous Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Jason Marsden, aka: MARS.
I met Mars at a holiday party shortly after he and his family moved here to Nashville from L.A. As an actor, L.A. made sense for Mars, but the reasons for his migration resonate alongside others that have transferred here from bigger, busier cities: they fell in love with the Nashville Community and found that the change of pace feels like home. After all, his wife Cristy is a Nashville native and their frequent visits over the years had fostered friendships and a strong foothold on the local scene.
So if it was Community that brought Mars to Nashville, it's no surprise that Community is what he is working to strengthen and grow. Enter: The Mars Variety Show!
Inspired to celebrate the creative diversity in Nashville (and his birthday at the same time) the inaugural Mars Variety Show this past January was a whimsical evening of live music, comedy, short film, prose and even burlesque...all done with style. The success of the first event has spawned parts two and three and...an anticipated plenty more!
As spectators, we quickly learn that the traditional concept of "the stage" is nonexistent in Mars' world. Held at The Building in East Nashville, our Ringmaster transforms the entire venue into his circus. He'll be weaving through chairs during his monologue until we realize the casual conversation he's having with an audience member is actually a comedy routine in disguise. Then we're turned around to discover a songwriter standing atop the bar leading the crowd into what turns into a spontaneous sing-a-long. He's even taken the show outside and around the block, turning the entire assembly into a rousing funeral march mob: replete with tuba, trumpet and song, we marched and danced down and around the 5 Points neighborhood. It was quite the spectacle and absolutely wonderful.
It's a tricky job capturing the wonder of the Mars Variety Show, but Michael Shumate does it splendidly. Here are a few photos he took from the Mars Variety Show pt 3, themed PORCH, which I was thrilled to be a part of as a performer:
You're probably getting a hunch that to Mars, life looks a little grander than the every-day, run-of-the-mill perspective. And I love that about him. What I love even more is how he's bringing the Nashville Community together to create art which inspires conversation which leads to connections which makes friendships which means more Community which...you get the picture.
That's why I'm thrilled to have him as my M.C. for "Face to Face" on July 31st, helping me celebrate our Nashville Community. I hope you can join us for this Full Moon, Friday Night, Free Event sponsored by the Nashville Fringe Festival!
Face to Face: an Up-Close Concert
Friday, July 31
BYOBeer and BYOFood
6:30p: doors and bring a picnic-style dinner if you want
8p: Rae and her trusty trio start playing music!
Look forward to a craft beer sampling by Little Harpeth Brewing!
If you can't be there in person, FIREBREATHrecords has us covered with live streaming of the show at 8p central here: www.firebreathmedia.com/live.
Held at South by Sea Studio: 1313 Jewell St., 37207
(If you're using Apple Maps, type "Jewell" with two L's otherwise you'll get the wrong location!)